The gay son of the president of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has told a newspaper that he’s been subjected to severe beatings by the police at his father’s behest.
The latest incident happened on 30 April, Ashwin Srinivasan told Daily News & Analysis, when he says he and his partner of 13 years, Avi Mukjerjee, were picked up by the police from a tapas bar in the Bandhra area of Mumbai and beaten with iron rods.
The local deputy commissioner of police said the two men were picked up after they refused to pay their bill and Ashwin punched a police officer.
‘We were taking it easy when the waiters began hassling us to pay the bill,’ said Ashwin, telling his version of events. ‘I said we would once we were done, but they argued. I raised my voice saying they’d have to wait. Suddenly, as if on cue, 12 policemen sprang out from behind the bar armed with iron rods and started beating Avi mercilessly.’
The recent incident wasn’t the first time the couple have been victims of police brutality, Ashwin said. In 2002 in Chenai they were beaten up and kept in solitary confinement. ‘I feared for their lives and helped the duo flee the country to escape Ashwin’s father’s wrath,’ says Ashok Row Kavi, a LGBT rights activist who helped them.
‘My father is vehemently against homosexuality and has been asking me to change since 1998 when I came out to my parents,’ Ashwin told DNA. ‘Things began to worsen when I fell in love with Avi in 1999. We have come close to losing our lives and sanity due to the constant physical and mental torture.’
Ashwin’s father N Srinivasan said: ‘What is happening is a private family matter. I am not going to comment on that. Children may make any kind of charge against parents. But as a parent one only wishes the child well and does what is good for him in the long run.’